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Hisham Rais: Right to rally, not right to be violent

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Social activist Hishamuddin Rais has blasted the incidents of violence by the red shirts against the Bersih convoy over the weekend.

Hishamuddin said while Bersih upholds the right to protest, they do not condone violence.

"The fact is I support anyone's (right) to protest. I support any group's (right) to demonstrate. This is the basic right of the people," he said.

"I do not support the use of violence. I reject the violent attitude and action (of the attackers)," he said in a statement.

"The people regardless of their religion should reject any form of violence," he said.

Hishamuddin, who was at the Lumut leg convoy last Saturday when a minor commotion broke out, criticised the red shirts participants for resorting to violence.

He said Bersih's convoy was attacked by red shirts bikers after the launch of the Bersih 5 torch and when they were moving to the market area.

"The car that I took was among the cars harassed and attacked by the red shirts group," he said, adding the attackers had attempts to break the car's mirror and trample on the car roof.

"Bersih's flag was taken away and torn apart," he added.

Report to be lodged

Meanwhile, Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah told Malaysiakini the coalition will lodge a police report against red shirts leader Jamal Md Yunus, for allegedly punching Bersih convoy team members in Teluk Intan yesterday evening.

Maria, who wasn't at the scene, said she will speak to the Bersih participants who were there before lodging a report.

A video clip uploaded on the Bersih official website showed some pushing going on between Jamal and his red shirts supporters, and the Bersih participants.

A police vehicle was also at the scene.

Jamal also was also allegedly seen grabbing something from a Bersih supporter.

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